—“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”—
Pro-Socialism article celebrates the Bolshevik’s early recognition of Muslims as communist allies.
To me the leniency seems like a matter of expedience, and the typical Bolshevik strategy of prioritizing who to destroy first while feigning friending with the people lower on the list.
—“The Russian Revolution of 1917 took place in an empire that was home to 16 million Muslims – some 10 percent of the population. The collapse of Tsarism radicalised Muslims, who demanded religious freedom and national rights denied them by the tsars.
On 1 May 1917 the First All-Russian Congress of Muslims took place in Moscow. After heated debates the congress voted for women’s rights, making Russia’s Muslims the first in the world to free women from the restrictions typical of Islamic societies of that period. At the same time, conservative Muslim leaders were hostile to revolutionary change. So how did the Russian Marxists, the Bolsheviks, respond?
Marxism is a materialist worldview and so is thoroughly atheist. But because it understands religion to have roots in oppression and alienation, Marxist political parties don’t demand that their members or supporters are atheists too. So atheism was never included in the Bolsheviks’ programme. Indeed, they welcomed left wing Muslims into the communist parties (CPs). The Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky noted in 1923 that in some former colonies as many as 15 percent of CP members were believers in Islam. He called them the ‘raw revolutionary recruits who come knocking on our door’. In parts of Central Asia, Muslim membership was as high as 70 percent.
The Bolsheviks took a very different approach to Orthodox Christianity, the religion of the brutal Russian colonists and missionaries. Party policy in Central Asia, endorsed by Moscow, stated that ‘freedom from religious prejudice’ was a requirement for Russians only. So in 1922 over 1,500 Russians were kicked out of the Turkestan CP because of their religious convictions, but not a single Turkestani. . . .
Some sharia courts flouted the Soviet law, refusing to award divorces on the petition of a wife, or equating the testimony of two women to that of a man. So in December 1922 a decree introduced retrials in Soviet courts if one of the parties requested it. All the same, some 30 to 50 percent of all court cases were resolved by sharia courts, and in Chechnya the figure was 80 percent.
A parallel education system was also established. In 1922 rights to certain waqf (Islamic) properties were restored to Muslim administration, with the proviso that they were used for education. As a result, the system of madrassahs – religious schools – was extensive. In 1925 there were 1,500 madrassahs with 45,000 students in the Caucasus state of Dagestan, as opposed to just 183 state schools. In contrast, by November 1921 over 1,000 soviet schools had some 85,000 pupils in Central Asia – a modest number relative to the potential enrolment. . . .
The Bolsheviks made alliances with the Kazakh pan-Islamic group the Ush-Zhuz (which joined the CP in 1920), the Persian pan-Islamist guerrillas in the Jengelis, and the Vaisites, a Sufi brotherhood. In Dagestan, Soviet power was established largely thanks to the partisans of the Muslim leader Ali-Hadji Akushinskii.
In Chechnya the Bolsheviks won over Ali Mataev, the head of a powerful Sufi order, who led the Chechen Revolutionary Committee. In the Red Army the ‘sharia squadrons’ of the mullah Katkakhanov numbered tens of thousands.
At the Baku Congress of the Peoples of the East in September 1920, Russian Bolshevik leaders issued a call for a ‘holy war’ against Western imperialism. Two years later the Fourth Congress of the Communist International endorsed alliances with pan-Islamism against imperialism.
Moscow deliberately employed non-Russian troops to fight in Central Asia – Tatar, Bashkir, Kazakh, Uzbek and Turkmen detachments were pitted against the anti-Bolshevik invaders. Tatar soldiers in the Red Army exceeded 50 percent of the troops on the Eastern and Turkestan fronts of the civil war. . . .
Increasingly it attacked so called ‘nationalist deviations’ in the non-Russian republics and encouraged a rebirth of Russian chauvinism. From the mid-1920s the Stalinists began planning an all-out attack on Islam under the banner of women’s rights. The slogan of the campaign was khudzhum – which means storming or assault.
The khudzhum entered its mass action phase on 8 March 1927 – international women’s day. At mass meetings women were called upon to unveil. Small groups of native women came to the podium and threw their veils on bonfires. This grotesque plan turned Marxism on its head. It was far from the days when Bolshevik women activists veiled themselves to conduct political work in the mosques. It was a million miles from Lenin’s instruction that ‘we are absolutely opposed to giving offence to religious conviction’.
Inevitably there was a backlash against the khudzhum. Thousands of Muslim children, especially girls, were withdrawn from Soviet schools and resigned from the Young Communist League. Unveiled women were attacked in the street, including ferocious rapes and thousands of killings. . . .
As the Soviet Union launched a programme of forced industrialisation, Muslim national and religious leaders were physically eliminated and Islam was driven underground. The dream of religious freedom was buried in the Great Terror of the 1930s.
Socialist Review stands in a tradition that totally rejects the Stalinist approach to Islam. But in the early years of the revolution the Bolsheviks were successful at winning Muslims to fight for socialism. We can learn from and be inspired by their achievements.”—
“We will destroy each and every enemy, even if he was an old Bolshevik; we will destroy all his kin, his family. We will mercilessly destroy anyone who, by his deeds or his thoughts—yes, his thoughts!—threatens the unity of the socialist state. To the complete destruction of all enemies, themselves and their kin!” . . .
Quotas were issued for each region—Baberowski concludes that more than a million people were killed by quota—and local officials often filled them either arbitrarily or with the homeless, the blind, and amputees. In March 1938 the nkvd (the secret police) executed 1,160 people in Moscow with physical disabilities. Kliment Voroshilov, who occupied many top positions, argued for arresting abandoned children. “Why don’t we have these rascals shot?” he asked. “Should we wait for them to become grown-up criminals?” . . .
When the original Politburo members Zinoviev and Kamenev did not immediately confess to treason, Stalin wrote to his secret police chief: “You are performing poorly, Genrikh Grigorievich. One must torture them so that they finally tell the truth and reveal all their ties.” Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin all referred to any squeamishness about such methods as (to use Trotsky’s phrase) “the most pathetic and miserable liberal prejudice.” Writing to the Kirghiz Party leader, Stalin threatened “extreme measures” if he did not immediately abandon “liberalism towards enemies of the people.”
Leonhard reports that some people would confess to palpably absurd crimes in the hope that Stalin would someday order a review of each case and recognize obvious innocence. One person confessed to trying to sink the Soviet navy by throwing rocks into Leningrad harbor, while a chemist admitted revealing an important formula to the Germans, H2SO4, or sulfuric acid. . . .
Long before Stalin came to power, Lenin explicitly instructed local Bolsheviks to “introduce mass terror” to forestall opposition. When the Turks approached Baku, Baberowski notes, Lenin ordered the city burned to the ground and “the fate of the civilian population was not considered.” Zinoviev remarked that it was necessary to kill ten million of Russia’s hundred million people. . . .
Baberowski concludes, “The civil war [of 1918–20] was a dress rehearsal for Stalinism” and “without the violent experience of the civil war there would have been no Stalinism.” By the same token, he tells us that Stalin’s collectivization of agriculture, which took the lives of millions, “was the last act in a drama that had begun in 1917.” If so, the conditions of Stalinism were already there for any unscrupulous leader to exploit.
Not everyone, even in Sweden, are aware of its existence. But in south Ukraine there is a small village where some people still speak an old version of Swedish. Gammalsvenskby (Old Swedish village) is its name. Stockholm News paid a visit to the village in late June this summer.
Since sometime during the 14th century, a Swedish population had lived on the island Hiiumaa (sw: Dagö ) in present day’s Estonia. In 1781, the Russian empress Catherine the Great decided that they had to be moved. With a combination of threats and promises, she made the population walk the long way (more then 1000 km) to the village Zmejevka north of the Black Sea.
Around thousand people started the march. Only half of them reached their goal, the rest perished from hunger, cold or diseases. On the arrival they learnt that the empty houses they had been promised were not empty at all. One year after arrival only 135 where still alive, but during the coming decades, their number started to grow again.
Over the years, the Swedish population kept their Swedish identity and their Swedish language. Since they were isolated from a linguistic point of view, their version of Swedish did not develop as in Sweden. They still speak rather similar to 18th century Swedish. Gammalsvenskby is therefore a goldmine for linguists.
Below is Figure 4A from the paper, which shows the proportions of admixture from outside of Europe and West Asia among a wide variety of West Eurasian groups.
All available evidence points to Putin’s complicity in the 1999 apartment-building bombings in Russia. Those who have tried to investigate have been killed off, one by one.
Russian human-rights defenders Sergei Yushenkov, Yuri Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, and Alexander Litvinenko also worked to shed light on the apartment bombings. But all of them were murdered between 2003 and 2006. By 2007, when I testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the bombings, I was the only person publicly accusing the regime of responsibility who had not been killed.
The bombings terrorized Russia. The Russian authorities blamed Chechen rebels and thereby galvanized popular support for a new war in Chechnya. President Boris Yeltsin and his entourage were thoroughly hated for their role in the pillaging of the country.
Putin, the head of the FSB, had just been named Yeltsin’s prime minister and achieved overnight popularity by vowing revenge against those who had murdered innocent civilians. He assumed direction of the war and, on the strength of initial successes, was elected president easily.
Almost from the start, however, there were doubts about the provenance of the bombings, which could not have been better calculated to rescue the fortunes of Yeltsin and his entourage. Suspicions deepened when a fifth bomb was discovered in the basement of a building in Ryazan, a city southeast of Moscow, and those who had placed it turned out to be not Chechen terrorists but agents of the FSB.
After these agents were arrested by local police, Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the FSB, said that the bomb had been a fake and that it had been planted in Ryazan as part of a training exercise.
The bomb, however, tested positive for hexogen, the explosive used in the four successful apartment bombings. An investigation of the Ryazan incident was published in the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and the public’s misgivings grew so widespread that the FSB agreed to a televised meeting between its top officials and residents of the affected building.
The FSB in this way tried to demonstrate its openness, but the meeting was a disaster: It left the overwhelming impression that the incident in Ryazan was a failed political provocation.
Three days after the broadcast, Putin was elected. Attention to the Ryazan incident faded, and it began to appear that the bombings would become just the latest in the long list of Russia’s unsolved crimes.
What historical data will help to clarify Ukraine and Russia backgrounds.
Higher education institutions: the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1724, Moscow University in 1755. Ostroh Academy was founded in 1576 in Ukraine, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was established in 1615 and Lviv University in 1661.
First printed ABC book in Ukraine was published in 1574 in Lviv, and in the Tsardom of Russia it happened 60 years later in 1634.
Religion: Kyiv Metropolia was founded in the year 988, and Moscow Patriarchate only in 1458. Kyiv Metropolia is 460 years older than Moscow ones.
Capitals: Kyiv is one among the oldest cities in Europe and was founded in 482, while Moscow was founded in 1147 by Yuriy Dolgoruky, the son of Volodymyr Monomakh. So, Kyiv is older than Moscow by 665 years.
The first monarch who was crowned in the Tsardom of Russia was Ivan the Terrible in 1547, and in Ukrainian lands it was the first king of Rus’ Daniel of Galicia in 1253.
Mongol yoke: Kyiv lost the Mongolian yoke in 1363 after the Battle of Blue Waters; Moscow lost yoke in 1480 after great standoff on the Ugra river, and Muscovy paid tribute to the Crimean khan till 1700, including the first years of Peter the Great reign.
Name: For the first time, the term ‘Ukraine’ was found in the chronicles in the year 1187. Term ‘Russia’ was found only during the reign of Ivan the Terrible 400 years later.
Last, but not the least, famous Ukrainian Pylyp Orlyk is the author of one of the first constitutions in the world. On April 5th, 1710 he was elected as a hetman. On the same day he announced a ‘Pacts and Constitutions of Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporizhian Host’. Worth mention, that the U.S. constitution was adopted in 1787. In France and Poland it was adopted in 1791.
a plan, pursued after World War I by Polish leader Józef Piłsudski, for a federation, of Central and Eastern European countries. Invited to join the proposed federation were the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.
The Polish name Międzymorze, which means “Intersea” or “Between-seas,” was rendered into Latin as “Intermarium.”
The proposed federation was meant to emulate the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, that, from the end of the 16th century to the end of the 18th, had united the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Intermarium complemented Piłsudski’s other geopolitical vision—Prometheism, whose goal was the dismemberment of the Russian Empire and that Empire’s divestment of its territorial conquests.
Intermarium was, however, perceived by some Lithuanians as a threat to their newly established independence, and by some Ukrainians as a threat to their aspirations for independence, and was opposed by Russia and by most Western powers, except France, who backed it.
As I’ve said before, the West can either understand Eastern Europe, or it can maintain its heroic WWII narrative. It can’t do both.
Estonian war hero Harald Nugiseks (22 October 1921 – 2 January 2014) was an SS-Oberscharführer (Sergeant) in World War II, who served voluntarily in the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian) of the Waffen SS. Nugiseks is also one of the four Estonian soldiers who received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.
Harald Nugiseks: “Estonians joined the German mobilization because the Estonian national committee and Uluots (Estonian President) encouraged us. But these were the exact deeds of Uluots that the parliament or the important men in the government refuse to acknowledge. Uluots was the one who encouraged us to join the army. But we are constantly called Fascists. This I do not understand! Because not a single Estonian, I can assure it, wasn’t the kind of man to follow the Russians or Germans. We went there to battle for Estonia and I am glad when I find from the newspaper or from history: these men were on the Narva front and stopped the Red Army from moving onwards.”
Harald has been representing this generation who had to protect the homeland in foreign uniforms. He and his three mates did not battle on the German side, they were first and foremost battling against the red regime. No one has managed to prove that there was a better way to do that back then. We were looking for answers for tens of questions where the soldier’s heroism was on a meaningful position. Why this sort of resistance was born on Narva front that the large Soviet army’s squads, battalions, groups and divisions bleed to death while trying to attack it and eventually gave up? How many red soldiers died on Narva front? There have been estimations that around 400,000 or 500,000. On the 51st anniversary of the falling of Narva on July 26, 1995 the Red Army veterans said that 700,000 soldiers were killed on that front in 1944! The red regime paid an expensive price for conquering Estonia. What did not happen in 1939 did come true in 1944 thanks to Estonian men.
There have been talks of a lot of bodies being in the Sinimäed Hills. There have also been rumors that the piles of Russians’ dead bodies were so big that they were mistaken as the new attackers and dead bodies were constantly shot. The men who were near the Sinimäed Hills said that in the autumn on 1944 and in the spring of 1945 they went to clean up the bodies from Sinimäed. For each body they received the price of a vodka bottle. In the spring of 1945 it meant that they took a truck-load of skulls to the burial place. In one place of burial, where 30,000 skulls were counted, they placed a memorial which said that the Soviet soldiers rest there. But there were a large number of common graves where no signs were put. Some farmers took a pile of skulls to the burial place and then took them back during the night, so that they could bring the skulls again the next day. But how many soldiers were lying on the minefields and were never found?
It was a war where one side was soullessly counting, but the other side was protecting homes and the last one gave birth to what we can call the Second War of Independence. Who were those brave Estonian sons who battled in the Second War of Independence – this text is devoted to one of them. These were the finest sons of Estonia and may their flame burn inside our souls forever.
It has been said that the Ancient Greek Antaios got his power from the earth. When he lost his connection with earth, it meant the end to him. This text also emphasizes the soldier’s connection to his land. The author of this text believes that Harald was inspired by not the Knight’s Cross, but by the letters of the unknown women over Estonia and the Estonian people in general and what was in those letters. Who stands behind a soldier? If there is someone, the soldier battles, if there isn’t anyone, he does not. If the people feel that the soldier is battling for them, the soldier also feels it and protects his people.
The people understand better than anyone else if the war that is going on is theirs or not. “There is no international laws or morale tradition that would prohibit the nation to battle for its own protection,” wrote Harald Riipalu. When the Soviet Union occupied Estonia on June 17, 1940, this meant war to us and we were in a war situation with the Soviet Union from that moment on. The war between the Soviet Union and Germany gave us a chance to once again fight for our freedom. The German soldiers were our allies and also the volunteers from Europe and Scandinavians. We didn’t want Russia, we wanted to keep our little home free and for this Estonian soldiers battled side by side.
That’s how the Estonian soldiers’ battles should be viewed on Narva front and in other places. These four soldiers – the Knight’s Cross recipients – just like all other Estonian soldiers, who fought for our freedom, showed great soldier’s bravery in these battles and they deserve the people’s gratitude. Especially thankful should be those whom the war helped to escape to the West, away from certain death. Their descendants should know, however, that the life was guaranteed here with these brave Estonian soldiers’ life and death. Isn’t it so that the people who do not fight for their freedom, don’t deserve it? Well, they did fight and they made their nation worthy of freedom.
The movement included members of the Independent Labour Party, the British Socialist Party, Workers Socialist Federation, and the Herald League, who wanted to show international workers’ solidarity with their Russian comrades. Where other attempts at cross-factional unity had failed, the Hands Off Russia! campaign proved to be a powerful galvaniser of British left-wing sympathisers. It really got going in January 1919 when a National Committee for the Hands off Russia! campaign was elected at a conference in London. Many of the groups and individuals who congregated under the umbrella of Hands Off Russia! later went on to form the Communist Party of Great Britain in August 1920.
Can we give credit to Ukraine’s sich riflemen for slowing the reds down a bit?
—“Absolutely true! Poland saved Europe twice – from Tatars and Mongols and then from (even worse plague) of Soviets in 1920. In 1945 they were betrayed by Roosevelt in Yalta and given to Stalin as a new slave’s camp.”—
On August 16, 1920, Marshal Józef Piłsudski personally led the Polish Army counter attack against the Red Army, which practically smashed it, and saved Poland and Europe from a Soviet invasion.
This stunning and decisive victory that Pilsudski and the Polish army achieved, which would be later known as “The miracle on the Vistula” (after the Vistula river running through Warsaw), radically changed the outcome of the Polish – Russian war of 1920, and perhaps the fate of Europe.
Up until that battle, the seemingly invincible Red Army was sweeping through Poland pushing the Polish army all the way back to Warsaw. The newly reinstated Polish state, desperate, alone and unaided in its war with Soviet Russia (the only European country to offer any substantial help to Poland during the war was Hungary) seemed on the verge of collapse and total defeat.
Lenin believed that by destroying Poland, he would create a Red Bridge to Europe -particularly Germany – which he was certain was ripe for Communist revolution.
Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”
Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.
First he offered to visit Moscow. “The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA.” Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how to brush up their propaganda.
Then he offered to make it possible for Andropov to sit down for a few interviews on American television. “A direct appeal … to the American people will, without a doubt, attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country. … If the proposal is recognized as worthy, then Kennedy and his friends will bring about suitable steps to have representatives of the largest television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interviews. … The senator underlined the importance that this initiative should be seen as coming from the American side.”
Kennedy would make certain the networks gave Andropov air time–and that they rigged the arrangement to look like honest journalism.
Passed away peacefully on July 24, 2016, after succumbing to cancer and dementia. Born in Krakow, occupied Poland, on May 17, 1941, Orest came to the United States with his parents as a refugee in 1949. In his new hometown of Philadelphia he attended the renowned Central High School and was active in Plast, the Ukrainian Scouting organization, where he made many lifelong friendships, especially in his fraternity “Burlaky.” After graduating from Temple University with a BA in 1965 and from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with an MA in 1967, he completed his PhD at Harvard University in 1973 in History and Middle Eastern Studies. His thesis, entitled “Unwilling Allies: The Relations of Hetman Pylyp Orlyk with the Ottoman Porte and the Crimean Khanate,” was the first doctorate in the newly-formed Ukrainian Studies Program at Harvard. While at Harvard he met his wife, Maria, and after several memorable years as Assistant and then Associate Professor at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, in 1982 he moved to York University in Toronto where he was Professor of History and Political Science until his retirement in 2015. An avid soccer fan, he played for the All-American Team in college and later with the Norwood Kickers in Boston.
During his academic career he authored six books on East European and Ukrainian history, including The Mazepists: Ukrainian Separatism in the 18th Century and Domination of Eastern Europe: Native Nobilities and Foreign Absolutism, and a total of 55 articles and book chapters. During the last years of his career he was working on a history of the Plast Ukrainian Scouting movement. He was editor of the journal Nationalities Papers and an organizer of many international scholarly conferences. From 1998 to 2012 he was a director of Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) projects in Ukraine.
His most important scholarly contribution was his book, Ukraine: A History, which was published by the University of Toronto Press in 1988, shortly before Ukraine’s independence. The book gave the country an authoritative history during its formative years. It has been published in four editions and translated into numerous languages. It will remain his lasting legacy to Ukraine and Ukrainians.
For his scholarly and professional contributions, he was presented with the Order of Merit by the Government of Ukraine in 2001. He was named a Foreign Member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine. He was also awarded the Shevchenko Medal by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress for his outstanding contributions to the development of the Ukrainian Canadian community in the category of Education.
He is survived by his wife, Prof. Maria Subtelny; son, Dr. Alexander Subtelny of Cambridge, MA; sister, Dr. Oksana Isajiw (Irenaeus) of Newton, NJ; and by many other family members in Canada, the US, and Ukraine. Heartfelt thanks are extended to those stalwart friends who were a support during trying times; to his brother-in-law, Dr. George Luczkiw, who stepped in at crucial moments; to his physicians, Drs. Zenon Pahuta, Martin Chepesiuk, Sandra Black, and David Bitonti; and to the caring staff of Toronto Western Hospital, Humber River Hospital, and the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre.
Visitation at Turner & Porter, Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W., Toronto, on Thursday, July 28, 2–4 pm and 6–9 pm. Panakhyda at 7:30 pm. Funeral mass on Friday, July 29 at 10 am at St. Demetrius Ukrainian Catholic Church, 135 La Rose Ave., followed by interment at Park Lawn Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family at a Celebration of Life reception at the Old Mill Restaurant, 21 Old Mill Rd., immediately thereafter.
Operation Vistula – ethnic cleansing of Ukrainians, Poland 1947
200K forcibly forcibly resettled 2 fmr German terr pic.twitter.com/3WFIQ7bkSM
— Tat Atfender (@TatAtfender) July 22, 2016
It is certainly worth noting that at the same time, the Soviets were resettling Poles from Western Ukraine into Poland.